The Tale of the Four Eyes

I’m in the first grade, sitting in my classroom, when all of a sudden us kids were told to form a line to go somewhere important

Turns out, this little trip to the school medical center would change my life completely

All of us were weighed, measured, our vitals were checked and then in the end, we had to cover one eye and read these random alphabets placed at the back of the door

It was my turn to do this. I was confident because I’m a first grader so it’s obvious I’d know my ABC’s. But when I did the thing and started saying the alphabets, this lady near me says that I am telling it all wrong. When the lady asked me to stop, I saw the alphabets with both my eyes and could see it all – except the last two lines

The lady wrote something on a paper and told me to give it to my parents. That this was urgent

That piece of paper, turned my life upside down

The first thing I did when I reached home was hand this piece of paper over to my parents. Dad told me that we were gonna go out later in the evening

We reached a building and went in. The receptionist told us to go inside. I was still clueless but I thought this was gonna be something fun!

Boy oh boy was I wrong….

This doctor, asked me to sit and then all of a sudden started to examine my eyes with a small flashlight. I was then made to sit in front of various machines which were moving and was told to keep my head still

My head didn’t feel normal towards the end of it. I was made to wear these weird glasses and then lenses were put in these. The doctor kept asking me to read the alphabets and numbers again and again. It sort of felt like magic. When it was over, he asked my parents how is it that I have survived for this long without any aid? My parents were confused with this question, and I was convinced I was dying

Okay come on now, I was five! The doctor said stuff like, “How have you not noticed this before?” and “It might have been too late had you delayed the checkup” and child me thought I had some terminal disease

I didn’t want to die before I could finish watching my Barbie movie…

You see, I have a condition that I was born with. My corneas, are damaged. There is a tear in them or something like that

The doctor asked my parents if there was anyone in the family who wore glasses and they replied in the negative. The doctor was in disbelief and said that there has to be someone because my condition is a genetic one. I inherited it. My parents were in complete disapproval of this theory and argued with the doctor. The doctor said that it was possible that someone has it but was never diagnosed with it. But my parents said that not a single person has ever complained about their vision. This argument went on for about an hour

This was a whole lot of new information for my little brain to process. The only explanation I gave to myself was that I was adopted. I was the introverted child of two extroverted parents. I also somehow inherited a condition that no one in either of my families has
My conclusion made sense. With this I will also admit, I was an extremely stupid kid

Two days later we visit the doctor again. He went into detail about what this condition meant. He also spoke about how the power of my eyes were extremely high and were always fluctuating. I had both the “plus” and the “minus”. The plus was somewhere at a 3 or a 4 and the minus, well one eye was 8 and the other was 6. My eyes basically defied normal eyes

He said that the only way to stabilize my eyesight would be by me having to sacrifice a huge part of my childhood. Summer vacations were going to start and obviously I wanted to play and dance my heart out, but I’d have to do that without my complete eyesight. I was made to wear this eye – patch which was essentially a band – aid for my eye. I had to cover one eye of mine and see the world through the other eye. I had to train myself to go about my day with just one eye. The only time I was allowed to take this eye – patch off was when I was sleeping and when I was to take a bath. I did this for an entire month and you’d think that the misery would be over after this but nope!

I then had to wear an eye – patch on the other eye and go on with my life using my other eye which I previously had closed off. I now had to wear this patch for 15 days. I don’t think even ninjas have such rigorous training

glasses

The entire experience was just so awful. I was just a kid and half of my eyesight was taken away from me. I also had to apply eye drops thrice a day, everyday. Oh, I also had to wear glasses 🙂

Going back to school with an extra pair of eyes was not fun. Half of the people didn’t recognize me while the other half asked me if I watched way too much television during my summer break and so ended up with glasses

How was I supposed to explain to them that I had some weird condition related to a part of my eye I can’t even pronounce?

Most of my childhood passed in everyone asking me how many fingers are they holding when I took my glasses off, and also holding objects really far away and asking me to tell what exactly it is. I felt like a toy for everyone

But on the other hand, all the struggles I went through paid off when the doctor said that my eyesight had stabilized. He was shocked at how quickly it happened! I got rid of my “plus” power and the “minus” power was now at a normal number

But I had to wear glasses permanently. My parents weren’t happy with this

They asked if there was anything they could do, any surgery or operation to rid me off my glasses. But the doctor said they’d have to wait till I was eighteen years old

You see, my parents were young and knew no better. Societal standards didn’t allow glasses. They weren’t “pretty”. I don’t blame my parents, they just wanted their daughter to fit into the world. But alas, that wasn’t possible

So, I grew up with an extension to my body – my glasses. But little did tiny me know that this part of me which I loathed would end up being the most inseparable part of adult me. Because I had to wear them from such a young age, I grew attached to it

Today, these glasses of mine are what make me feel normal. They’re a part of me. They make me feel, me. They have become my identity now. Honestly, I feel naked without my glasses

I know that according to the rules laid down by the society we live in, glasses are “unattractive”. So many people have told me to “take my glasses off” while I’m going out or while taking photos. I find it funny how people react when I say I feel uncomfortable without my glasses. They show me others who don’t wear them on a regular basis and I always say, “to each their own”

Shouldn’t we all just do what makes us feel comfortable? Can’t we just choose what we want to do and wear rather than conform to some stupid notions?

And wow sorry my inability to see makes me “not – pretty”. I’ll choose having an aid to help me see things better over idiotic beauty standards any day 😂
I do believe I rock wearing glasses though. I completely own the look!!

And so, this is the story of my “four eyes”
Do you have any such stories? Ones where you or your condition(s) defied the normal human body?

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A Superhero, Maybe

While coming back home yesterday after meeting with a friend, a little girl crossed my path who looked at me and smiled.  She then stopped me and told me that she had seen me before. I apologized to her telling that I couldn’t remember who she was. She smiled and told me, “A superhero like you can’t remember all the people you rescue right?”

I was confused. Why would she call me a superhero? I was pretty sure she had mistaken me for someone else but then she told me how is it she had met me and it all made sense.

Two months ago an incident had taken place below my building. I was looking after my brother in a play area built for children where I saw two girls occupying the only two swings that are there. One girl must be around 15 years old and the other one must be 14. My equation with the 15 year old has never been good as we clash a lot. Now you can’t expect me to be on good terms with someone who has a lot of ego and gets happiness from plotting against her own friends right?
I was looking after my brother when I heard a girl cry. I turned around to find that there was a little girl who was crying because she wanted to sit on the swing but those two girls weren’t allowing her. The 15 year old was screaming at this tiny little girl telling her that the swing is hers and she won’t give it to the girl. The little girl was bawling her eyes out and she walked away when the 15 year old stood up and told her, “Come here girly. You can have the swing.” I was so happy to see that this girl finally got some sense knocked into her head as the little girl came running back. But obviously I was wrong.
What this big girl did was sit back on the swing as soon as the little one came back. Upset, the little one walked away and the 15 year old stood up again and called her back. The little one came running back and what did the 15 year old do? She sat again. She repeated this routine of hers for around 3 times until the little one eventually had a breakdown. The 15 year old then was telling her friend, “Oh my God look at this kid man! At such a young age she’s acting so brilliantly. Look at the crocodile tears dude. Haha kid you can be a star!” Her friend just laughed with her.

I couldn’t bear it. My eyes were filled with tears as I saw those two girls torment and bully that kid. I walked up to them and screamt at them. This is what happened :

“Is this your swing? Who are you to tell me? I came here first!”

“This isn’t your swing either. You may have come first but you’ve played long enough. This kid is literally begging you and you are bullying her? Are you not human?”

“I’m the one sitting here. It’s my wish.”

“”Get up and let her play. You have to.”

“And what if I don’t?”

“I can’t do anything. But I can only hope that you have a little humanity in you. I know you are smart. Put your brain into use for something good – for once. I know you love bullying kids but I will not stand here and see you do that. She’s a kid and you are elder to her. Do you really want to set a bad image for yourself? I know you don’t care about anyone but yourself. I’m standing here screaming at you for this kid. At least respect my concern, if not me. Can’t I expect something good from you for once?”

Her friend finally decided to speak and this is what we spoke :

“It’s that kid’s fault! Can’t she see that we are playing here? We’ve been playing here for an hour. We are here elders. She can’t respect us?”

“How is it this kid’s fault just tell me? Because she wants to play on the swings that you and your friend have captured and are declaring your property? Let me remind you that these swings are made for kids to play not for teenagers like us. You want respect? Show some respect yourself. I’m elder to you and look at the way you treat me. Respect works two ways. You simply can’t just stand here and demand respect that too from a kid. Give respect and you’ll get respect. Simple as that.”

The 15 year old took her friend and walked away. I told them that if they want to talk behind my back then they don’t need to as they can talk whatever shit they want right in front of me. They just responded with “whatever” and went along.

All this time I din’t see the girl who was standing there all along. When I finally turned around, I saw her gleaming with joy. I made small talk with her as she was playing. When she told me that she was 4 years old, it broke my heart. I witnessed a 15 year old torture a 4 year old mentally just for a swing. What is our world coming to?

The day’s incident is crystal clear in my memory. That’s how I remember the conversations so well. I guess it’s because I don’t get to witness such incidents on a daily basis. And I so hope I never have to.

This girl called me a ‘superhero’ because that day I saved her from all that trash. She told me that now those two girls never trouble her in whatsoever way and I’m just so glad.

But me and a superhero? Really?

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A superhero would mean that I always do good. But honestly speaking, I see myself as a villain. You see, I’ve never liked those two girls. This was my opportunity to blast them off. Verbally of course but in my mind I visualize it something like this :

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And by this if someone else is benefited, then I’m going to consider this as a bonus!

It hurts me so much to think that a 4 year old could be bullied this badly by someone from the same generation as I am. What has happened to humanity? Can someone really get so much of happiness from bullying a kid?

That kid now believes that there is good out there in the world. Growing up her belief in that is most likely to get destroyed, just like how mine is. There are good people out there but the bad overshadows it. She’ll learn that not everything is right in the world, but I don’t want her to learn it now. At this age every kid feels that the world is full of rainbows and butterflies, that fairies are real and magic isn’t just an illusion. I don’t want her innocence to go away this soon. She’s a kid and I want her to enjoy her fairy-tale world – a world where superheroes exist. That phase is a wonderful one. She’ll learn what she has to when she grows up.

I can only hope that no one else will want to snatch her world away from her. From any kid for that matter. They’re just kids for God’s sake. They shouldn’t be subjected to bullying and mental torture especially when they don’t even know what it is they are going through. Let them be.

The Bully-vard Of Broken Bones

If you are a regular reader of my posts then by now you will know that I have a 9 – year old brother. And this post is inspired by his struggles in my native country.

Yesterday evening when my mom and him came back from the playground situated right below my building, my brother looked upset and my mom was in an angry mood. When I inquired, she said that the children with whom he ‘plays’ told her that my brother swears a lot in my country’s national language – Hindi. They also told her that he curses and teases the children. I was shocked because I know he doesn’t even know one bad word, and now we have complaints that he abuses? Then went a long conversation between my mom, me and my brother. We needed to know if this was true.

My brother admitted to telling some words, but he never knew that they were bad. He heard the other children using them, and picked it up. He told it to them because he wanted to be accepted by them. He wanted to play with them.

These kids dominate the entire building. They are from the ages 9 – 12. You’d expect them to play with someone who obviously is the same age. But things don’t always turn out to be the way you expect them to be right?

My brother isn’t physically strong. He can’t run fast without tripping down and he still can’t jump. In short you can say he is weak. So the kids in the country where we both grew up took care of him in school. He had amazing friends who would guide him anywhere in school. His best friend was always regarded as his body-guard. They cared about him that much!

But the kids here have a totally different definition of care.

When we just came to the building they treated him well and played a lot with him. They loved him and cared a lot. We were really happy that he found good friends here too. But we jumped to conclusions too soon.
After 2 months of everyday play, one boy decided to turn the tables. I don’t know what was his problem.  Let’s name the boy XYZ here.
Whenever my brother would go to play they’d just ignore him. My brother would run behind them, and they can’t turn around and tell him to stop! Then one day we found out that XYZ and his partner beat my brother with a dirty broom that was just lying around. They told my brother not to tell my mom or else they’ll stop playing with him. Living in that fear, my  brother never opened up to my mom, dad or me! That broom caused him allergies. His entire body was red, and for two days he couldn’t go out.
Next day my mom and I shouted at those kids and especially XYZ. We gave him a final warning. The next day they played extremely well with him. We thought they learnt their lesson.

A month passed by, and everyone was happy. Until one day my brother started crying at home all of a sudden.

After a very rigorous interrogation and numerous attempts to break his loyalty towards his ‘friends’, my brother decided to open up. And what he said, left my mom and I in tears.

He said that XYZ would tell him to hide in a room. When my brother tried to get out, he and his friends would be pulling the doors so that he’d be trapped inside. Sometimes they pulled his pants, slapped him or made him trip down by putting their leg in the way while he was walking. And when he fell down, they wouldn’t let him up. Instead they’d stand on his pants so that standing isn’t easy for him. And after all these disastrous events, they’d tell him to shut his mouth about all this and never utter a word to my mom and I.
He was being bullied everyday and he kept quiet about it because he was scared.

My brother was weak infront of them. Their continuous fighting among themselves followed by a series of curse words to their own siblings, it was too much for anyone to control.

We told them to stop playing with my brother anymore, and told my brother the same. But my brother was so lonely here that in the end he ran behind them again.
Those kids gained a bit of sense and started playing with him properly. And they were always under my mom’s guidance. So my mom always monitors  every move of theirs.

Then came yesterday. My brother is also at fault here because he din’t need to repeat the words that they use. He’s extremely short – tempered and whenever he’s angry, he’ll start saying each and every word that comes to his mind and gets really hyper. But those kids are obviously at a greater fault here.

Now my brother swears he will never play with them and those kids also say that they never ever will play with him. I don’t want to hear anymore of these cases regarding bullying. I just hope that everything is back to normal till we shift from here. Then none of us have to face these kids ever again.

One thing is still confusing. If they never wanted to play with my brother, then why din’t they tell that directly to us? Why all this torture and made up stories?

These kids were at such an extent because their parents never took their actions seriously. They always say, ‘They are kids. They’re just having fun!’ Everyone in the building knows how bad they are, yet no one stands up to them. That’s why my brother is their first victim. After all this those kids have got severe shoutings by their parents and everyone else in the building. Hopefully they learnt their lesson now and no other kid will be a victim of bullying in this building.
If you yourself are either a victim of bullying or you know someone who is being bullied, stand up to it and defend them. You are not going to lose anything but you will gain respect from others. This needs to stop, and we all can do that. No one should feel the way my brother does. No one deserves that.

Cartoons

This entire week when I was going through my Facebook news feed, one post was successful in grabbing my attention. I guess mostly because I can relate to what it says, as I also feel the same.

Now when you also saw it, I’m positive that even you are going through the same emotions  that I’m going through.

Growing up, Cartoon Network is the channel that I lived on. I was a very fussy baby and I wouldn’t even eat a bite without watching my cartoon!
I still remember, when I was 5 or 6 years old, I wouldn’t wake up in the evening from my afternoon nap to go to my dance classes, but if my mom would just whisper that my cartoon is gonna start, I’d jump from my bed and run towards the television to watch my cartoon from the very start.

Well, these were the cartoons that I’d watch, and surely all of you would’ve watched too!!

This was one of my favourite cartoons. The boy genius and his daily dairies. I loved every bit of this series. And now I feel I can kind of relate to it. I’m not a genius, but I have a younger brother who annoys me in the same way DeeDee annoyed Dexter.
Looking at this cartoon, I always wanted a secret laboratory of my own. Well, I still want one!


My all-time favourite cartoon. Three girls with superpowers who save their town very cleverly named ‘Townsville’ everyday from villains who had weird yet cute names! What’s not to like about them?
I think the best part of this cartoon series was that every girl had different characteristics. Every kid could relate just a little bit atleast to any one of them. 


Frankly speaking, I couldn’t understand this cartoon most of the time. The story line used to go above my head. But I really used to enjoy their goofiness a lot,.
This cartoon never failed to make me laugh. Looking at their actions I’d just burst out laughing. Especially when they would eat the ‘Jaw breaker’. As far as I remember that was the name.

Well, kids saving their neighbourhood. Do I have to be more specific why I loved this cartoon?
The best part was that the children’s names weren’t always revealed as they were always known by numbers. A weird thing, but that’s what made them apart from the others. I only found out their names towards the end of the show. And my reaction was, ‘They also have names?’


This cartoon’s song, I can still sing it in my sleep. I know it that well. This was a weird cartoon, but I loved it anyway. A purple – pinkish dog living with an old couple who lived in the middle of ‘Nowhere’. I think these details itself make the show weird. But this dog has, according to me, earned a special place in every kid’s heart.
The villains that would target them were really weird. From a vegetable to a duck. Everything was a villainThis dog Courage, had an abilty to transform himself in the shape of the villain while explaining the circumstances to the old lady Muriel.
The thing I loved most about this cartoon was Courage’s computer. That computer is even smarter than Google! I really want a computer like that.


Well, my brother now watches cartoons, and it is really sad to see that he is deprived of these amazing cartoons that made every kid’s day. He does get to watch Tom & Jerry which is just amazing. But he shall always be missing these cartoons which will forever remain in every 90s kids’ heart.

Sometimes these cartoons come late at night, and if I have a holiday the next day and can stay up that late then I make sure I watch them. I might be a 16 year old teenager now but whenever I’m given the opportunity I shall forever watch these cartoons.

Dear Cartoon Network, can you please show these legendary cartoons again? Please?
We all dearly miss these.
And the kids these days, are missing out on all the fun and laughter we shared with every episode of these cartoons.